Monthly Archives: November 2012

Father Forgets By W. Livingston Larned

Father Forgets
By W. Livingston Larned

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive-and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightended with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding-this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy-a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.

I ran across this poem a few months ago and it meant a great deal to me so today when I read it again I wanted to pass it along in hopes it would help you as much as it has helped me.

I read it in Dale Carnegies book ‘How to win friends and influence people.’

Carnegie went on to share a few quotes after this poem that I would like to add. “To know all is to forgive all.”
“God himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of days. Why should you and I?”

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Filed under leadership, life lessons, Personal Development

America Looking Like the Middle East

Something strange happens when a major disaster occurs. Two neighbors that usually fight start working together. Race no longer separates people. Social status is thrown out the window. When life punches our city in the mouth it brings us together to fight for one another. We all come under one vision to protect and heal. We see what is most important at the time and forget everything else. We are raw. We are Alive. We move together as one forgetting differences. It doesn’t matter if you went to the school of law or the school of life.

Here are just a few examples of these disasters that I am talking about.

September 11,2001
Hurricane Katrina
April 27,2011 tornados rip through the southeast destroying everything in its path.
Countless wildfires through the Midwest
Tsunami in Japan (America rallied to give relief)
Haiti (America immediately went to help)

I could argue that it is human nature or that this is American nature. We go. We protect. We support. We do not stand by and watch.

So now in the aftermath of hurricane sandy I’m left scratching my head trying to figure out
How some Americans in the heat of a natural disaster turn away help from other Americans for no other reason than the way the southern power crews practice business. Who would have thought that the ‘union’ was more important than people’s lives?

The only thing more disturbing is that the President of the United States of America reflected the same attitude and spirit when he was faced with a crisis in Benghazi Libya and stood by, refusing to take action and watching Americans die.

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For the first time in our history as a nation, America looks like a weak country from the Middle East. To prideful to accept help from their own and to weak to help those in need.

What has happened to America?

We must fight to rise again to the country that we once were. We must fight for our freedom, for our people, for our children, for ourselves.

Lastly, what great accomplishments can America lay claim to before the civil war? When we were divided we could do little. But as the strongest country in the world we have repeatedly changed the course of history. Look at the world wars. Look at all of the aid we have been able to give over the years. Look at all of the individuals that we have sent across the world who have changed the lives of millions for the better. That is the America I grew up in and the one I want to see return.

We are more than what we have become.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment bellow.

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Filed under life lessons